Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's Writer's Tip - When is the revision done?

This bit of advice is hard for me to follow. Put the story aside for several days to a week and start on something new. Then go back for a final read through. What you're doing this time is becoming a reader, not the writer and this can be difficult. What helps is asking yourself these questions?

Is it a story or just a series of antedotes. Are the stakes clear? Does the story bring some kind of payoff for the reader?

Are you consistent in the viewpoint or do you slip out again and again? Once while reading something I write, I felt something was wrong. Finally it dawned on me that I'd slipped into the wrong point of view for just a short sentence and this was enough to jar me out of the story.

Are all the scenes complete or have you ducked expanding one that could be a pivot? Another thing to consider is have you run a scene past its purpose. Sort of like those times when you don't know how to say goodbye.

How's the pacing? Are there parts when you're breathless when reading and continue to a new scene where the breathlessness continues. Have you forgotten that the reader needs a bit of downtime.

Have you tightened the story in the right places or expanded when there needs to be just a bit of detail?

Is your sequence right or is one of the scenes out of place? Check to see that the story flows from event to event.

This concludes the bit on revision and perhaps next week if I can get some of my friends to join me here and give some writer's tip. Really it will be more of a how they do it. I'll probably lead off but hopefully others will join me here.

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